CDTA supporters who wish to stimulate the natural production of antioxidants claim that natural antioxidants offer better protection against the harmful effects of free radicals than antioxidant supplementation. One of the concerns of this group is that trigger mechanisms for the production of natural antioxidants can be desensitized by the excessive use of antioxidant supplements. The belief here is that the continued production of natural antioxidants caused by a very slight activation of the Nrf2 protein is the healthiest possible state for the human body. All that disturbs it does more harm than good. They also claim that the production of natural antioxidants can be disrupted by taking too many known Nrf2 activators, such as curcumin or resveratrol. Some supporters of this group believe that the overconsumption of antioxidants has already created serious health problems.
The main supporters of CDTA support the idea of taking large amounts of readily available external antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin E and other supplements. Many of them recommend taking one or more grams of vitamin C a day. They believe that it can safely reduce the amount of cellular damage generated by free radicals. The good news is that some research confirms this claim. The bad news is that camp concerns of natural antioxidants are not taken seriously. It is also true that, by focusing on a few well known antioxidants, too little attention is paid to the role that antioxidants play in the body.
Humans use many types (1000) of antioxidants and their variants. The biochemical reactions of each antioxidant with different types of free radicals are unique. Some antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C and E are popular and well known. Most others, like uric acid, better known for its association with gout, are much less well known but equally important. By taking this example of an antioxidant, uric acid, which has the highest blood concentration of antioxidants in humans, is responsible for more than half of the antioxidant capacity of the blood serum human. Uric acid can reduce the oxidative stress caused by high altitude hypoxia. A large number of antioxidants that act against free radicals also inhibit viruses and bacteria. Most of this research on CDTA-related antioxidants is only reported in technical journals, but the research itself suggests that a lot of interesting anti-aging information is on the shelf for future studies or is under-reported.
The human body has several enzymatic systems that fight free radicals by using antioxidants (vitamins A, C, E and selenium) that can only be absorbed by our diet and / or supplements. Vitamins A, C and E are also essential nutrients. Dietary deficiencies in these antioxidants can cause specific diseases and possibly lead to other chronic and / or degenerative health problems. A deficiency of beta-carotene (vitamin A) can cause night blindness. Vitamin C deficiency can cause scurvy. Vitamin E deficiency can cause nerve conduction problems. In the United States, a diet rich enough in fruits and vegetables (6 to 8 servings a day) can prevent such deficiencies and is highly recommended. In reality, such an ideal diet can be difficult to maintain. This is a strong argument for using at least some antioxidant supplements.
The quarrels between the supporters of the CDTA left us with several pressing and unanswered questions. Should we rely on naturally occurring antioxidants and limit our use of supplements of external antioxidants? What are the correct dosages of antioxidant supplements that you need to slow down the aging process? For the moment, there are no agreed standards.
The CDTA tells us that cell damage is cumulative. This may mean that the real answers are relative; that is to say that they vary according to your age. It is a well-established fact that the effectiveness of many homeostatic mechanisms of the body decreases with age. If you get older, say over 60, your natural antioxidant defenses slowly weaken. How long can you count on them to protect you properly? The effectiveness of digestive absorption by the body of many foods, including the trace elements required by natural antioxidant systems, slowly decreases with age. At some stage of life, an increase in additional antioxidant supplements and / or digestive enzymes can be really helpful. Many of the antioxidants produced in our body are becoming available in the supplement market.
The current interpretation of the vague anti-aging approach of CDTA is as follows: to slow down the accumulation of cellular damage, you need to increase your daily consumption of food antioxidants (fruits and vegetables) and maybe take a quantity not specified vitamins and anti-aging supplements. With age, you may need to increase your intake of vitamins and antioxidant supplements. Until the experts agree on supplement doses, you should diligently research any supplement that interests you.
There are hundreds of health supplements on the market. Many scientific studies on the benefits of a health supplement are contradictory. Some say that taking supplements has benefits, while others say there are few or no benefits, or that the supplements can even be harmful. The vitamin and anti-aging supplement industry has become a $ 23 billion industry that is not very well regulated. This has allowed the market to fill with overpriced products that may have little real benefit. You must be prudent. In my next article, I will conclude by summarizing the state of current approaches to anti-aging treatment.